Thursday, 24 June 2010

Wild thing

Grass vetchling ~ Lathyrus nissolia

I finally found some time this week to make a (little bit) larger painting. It's only bigger in paper size, not in subject. This is a Grass Vetchling (almost sounds like some sort of bird). The Latin name is Lathyrus nissolia and its a rare and protected plant in the Netherlands. As you can see the flowers are very similar to other peas. The biggest difference is the foliage. It's a really grassy plant and it doesn't climb like most Lathyrus' do.

It's really thin and there's a lot of white left on the page, as you can see. It was difficult though. The stems are long and thin and I'm not very good at painting straight lines. So I took it really slow. I did manage to give all the lines a shadow part. And for the flowers I got the colour right. The pods were so nice to paint, that was really fun :)

Now I hear you all ask me "Where does this lovely vetchling grow???" Well, I'll tell you.... roadsides, grain fields, woodlands and dykes. Sunny, warm, more or less open places slightly moist, moderately fertile to fertile, slightly acid to often chalky, grassy soil. Plenty of places like that but it's a rare little beauty nonetheless :(

I wish I had this near my house so I could paint a bigger painting with a few sprigs, dancing together. But this must do for now. A lovely elegant wild thing.

Saturday, 12 June 2010

Akebia and a fuzzy practice

My Akebia quinata drawing is still not finished but I'll give you a nice scan of how it looks now. Here it is:

It's so nice to work with graphite again. Now I'll tell you a little about my technique because some people think it is only a very light touch. It is a bit maybe but most important is to use many different kinds of pencils. I use very hard ones (4H) and very soft ones(6B) and some in between of course. One of the most important things is to keep a sharp pencil at all times. So when I draw I have the pencil in my right hand and my manual sharpener in my left. I'm sharpening all the time.
Like in my coloured pencil drawings I layer a lot. In this way I can controle the lights and darks. To make a very smooth looking finish I use a hard pencil or I use a blending stump depending on what effect is needed. Most used tool to get a perfect drawing is my kneadable eraser. I use it all the time, to lift graphite, to add texture, to clean the paper....
Ah, and if you want to make a drawing like this too, be sure to use very smooth paper. I used Bristol for this one but there are other papers that are a bit more creamy and also very smooth.

Now, enough about that... Yesterday I had a bit of time to make a fuzzy Stachys leaf.

It's not a great botanical but I wanted to try out a fuzzy looking texture with my coloured pencils. Last year, when I tried it, I totally failed. I think now it's looking better. Not as good as I had in mind, but it's progress.

This afternoon I want to try out a technique I have in my head to make white flowers with coloured pencils. I never tried this technique so I don't know if it will work at all. In my mind it works very well... now let's see if it works in reality ;)